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Wall Street Journal: Amy Li Button Downs Her Art Space in NY Chinatown


Amy LiNew York City is not short on art galleries, yet it can be tough for emerging artists to find space to show their work.

That however didn’t stop art graduate Amy Li. The Wall Street Journal reports she showcases her work at her father’s business which  more typically caters to the garment industry and not to art lovers.    The He Zhen Snap Button Co is a rivet and snap-button operation that has been in New York City’s Chinatown since 1986. She was able to convince her father to provide three small walls and the storefront’s window for her own work and that of other artists.

For the past year, Li has put on tens shows and has been recognized in the art world. She titled her first show Without Consent.

Raised in Chinatown, Li said it was predominately Italians when she was growing up, but there are now more Chinese. The landscape has changed too. The grocery stores and other factories that once existed in the area have made way for new ones. I most recently stumbled on a candy factory, several small cafes, bistros, restaurants and boutiques.

Li realizes that her success relies on the art she displays and that she will eventually need to find a larger space. She hopes she’ll be able to use her future location as an art space for the Chinese community and as a classroom to teach school children about contemporary art.

You can visit Li’s gallery at 166 Mott Street from noon to 6pm, Wednesdays thru Sundays. The gallery also has a  Facebook page.


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